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So, what’s the problem?

This is Li Meng. He hasn’t left this computer terminal for six years. He gets up to pee and shower and they hold his place for him. The rest of the time, he’s sitting in this internet cafe in this very chair playing video games. If you Google “Li Meng” and “internet cafe” you’ll get a ton of different takes on the story, mostly a bunch of handwringing about “internet addiction”.

But here’s the thing: renting a spot full time in the internet cafe costs him about eighty bucks a month. Playing video games, he says he’s making about $325 a month. You know what I say? THIS MAN IS THE KING OF AWESOME.

Plays video games all night, sleeps in the chair all day, slips out for a wash and some Chinese takeaway and puts money in the bank every month. I am NOT seeing a problem here.

It’s like when heroin got cheap in the Nineties and there were all these articles about how horrible it was that junkies could take a McDonald’s job and have enough money to rent a small apartment and support a smack habit. And I’m thinking, “wait…they’re fully supporting themselves and their wicked habits with an honest job? So what part of this is your business?”


Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: April 2, 2013, 11:15 pm

Damn, where’s the “like” button? OK, sure–someday something may catch up to him and the world come crashing in; but that possibility exists for every one of us. Someone who has structured their life to be exactly how they want it to be, so long as they are happy with that structure, is to be envied!

Comment from AndStatistics
Time: April 2, 2013, 11:58 pm

he gets paid to play video games? How’d he get that gig? Is he gold-farming or something?

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: April 3, 2013, 12:26 am

I think they addressed this subject on South Park in “Make Love, Not Warcraft”….

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: April 3, 2013, 1:01 am

He must eat and dress cheap/

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: April 3, 2013, 1:25 am

Do-gooders are a plague upon mankind…they should find some way to detect it in infants and drown them in the bathtub if they test positive…it’ll be doing the world a favour.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: April 3, 2013, 2:10 am

And he’s obviously having a great time. Leave him alone!

Comment from AliceH
Time: April 3, 2013, 3:28 am

That chair looks awfully comfortable.

Comment from mojo
Time: April 3, 2013, 5:03 am

“The secret fear that someone, somewhere, might be enjoying themselves.”

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2013, 11:53 am

Yes, I suspect it’s something like gold farming, AndStatistics. Or character buffing or something.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2013, 1:19 pm

So what he’s doing probably isn’t a whole lot of fun sometimes. But, you know, raise your hand if your job isn’t a whole lot of fun sometimes…

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: April 3, 2013, 3:08 pm

Dang!! Just…dang!!

My 30-Something nominally-adult son (of whom it should be said in all justice, holds down a full-time-and-then-some daytime job, one which actually pays pretty well, but also falls into that “not always a lotta laffs” category) – who is a total, absolute devotee to massive-multiplayer-online gaming – would truly worship Li Meng as a Gaming God!!

Makes money (not, even after six years, U.S. Minimum Wage-level, but still…) doing (apparently) basically what son Matt pays other people for, and does so (apparently) a first-order approximation of 24/7/365 – or at least as close to that as his body and mind can handle – and has been at it for over half a decade – what’s not to like?

Hey – if, in fact, Life As We Experience It has a Meaning or Purpose (for me, jury’s still out on that), who can, in truth, state definitely that Li Meng hasn’t Found It?

Since – clearly – he has pretty full access to the Intartoobs, it’s not as though he’s not at least as “connected with” or “involved in” the rest of the world as are most folks in these fairly-parlous times.

Just sayin’…

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: April 3, 2013, 4:06 pm

My stepson and his buddies back in China used to build up characters and then sell them on ebay. They’d go for $400 – 700 a pop. On a good month, the three of them would split a grand.

Comment from Some Organic Vegetable
Time: April 3, 2013, 4:40 pm

But, but, it’s wrong! He should be behind a mule on “Gaia Gardens” along with “…Dominique, my beloved partner from the beginning of this project, [who] is not only finishing a Masters degree in Art Therapy and Counseling at South Western College, but also works as a Massage Therapist for a couple hotels in town.

THEN he would be happy.

And you think I’m making this up?


Comment from Pupster
Time: April 3, 2013, 5:39 pm

That can’t be a healthy lifestyle (he says from his office chair in front of a keyboard and monitor where he spends 70 hours a week).


Comment from BJM
Time: April 3, 2013, 7:26 pm

The hand wringers would have no problem if he was on the dole lolling about on the sofa eating junk food, yakking on his Obamaphone, and watching Maury Povich all day.


Comment from tomfrompv
Time: April 3, 2013, 7:47 pm

I’m pretty sure the term “dole” has been deprecated by the Progs. Back in the day, food stamps and welfare was something you wanted to get off of. As in getting a job. ” On the dole” was a bad term imported from the Brits.

In Calif, one doesn’t get welfare anymore. One gets a “CalFresh debit card” which lets you get food for free. And each month, the govt tops up your EBT card so you can get clothes, movie tickets, and such. If you need a place to live, you go “Section 8” –which means moving into an apartment where the landlord gets govt money so the rent is “free”. Nothing bad here.

I wonder if “dole” is even used in the UK anymore. Brits seem way more educated on proper elocution, so I suspect only the elderly know the term

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: April 3, 2013, 8:40 pm

The Underclass in most developed countries is very uniquely miserable. At least in the “third world” they enjoy the reinforcement of providing for their own needs every day.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2013, 8:51 pm

Oh, “dole” is definitely still in use here, Tom. As is “scrounger” and “cheat” to describe those on benefits.

Sadly, there are a buttload of them. The safety net here is obscenely wide. Housing, for example, is considered a right, so there’s a lot of government-sponsored housing. Worse, to avoid the stigma of concentrated housing projects, council houses are sometimes scattered around otherwise nice neighborhoods.

You can guess whether that elevates the conduct of the poor or pulls down the property values around them.

Comment from Redd
Time: April 3, 2013, 10:03 pm

Were the Philpotts on welfare?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2013, 10:41 pm

The people just convicted of killing their children in a house fire? Undoubtedly. The question is what proportion of their money is welfare? See, under the last Labour government, they upped benefits so much, families making £100,000 a year are eligible for a government check, if they have kids.

It’s all about maxing out dependency on government.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2013, 10:42 pm

I know that because my neighbors were bitching about it this morning over coffee. God bless farmers and their tight-fisted, conservative ways.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: April 3, 2013, 10:53 pm

You can guess whether that elevates the conduct of the poor or pulls down the property values around them.
It’s the same here in suburban CA. Section 8 housing is MANDATED to be mixed in with semi-to-mostly affluent housing developments. Which, in my opinion sucks for the kids. I could give a shit about the adults. My daughter has a very good friend who’s “parents” are beyond “on the dole”. They are professional gamers of benefits. Yes, they live a crappy, poor, life. But the “Parents” do it by CHOICE. The kids have to listen to their friends stories of vacations, cool video games, dinners out, sports and the other benefits of middle-class incomes. And it just SUCKS. I’ve had a talk with the daughter to be aware that not everyone gets to do the (modest, really) stuff that she does. I know this because I grew up lower middle class. No Disneyland, no “vacations”, dinner out was maybe a few times a year at Sambo’s. The thing was…I never knew we were borderline poor, because EVERYONE else was also. By socially engineering housing these ignorant bastards are creating a whole generation filled with envy, and the feeling of entitlement. “The Projects” was a shitty idea. This mandated section 8 crap in the burbs is just as bad, but since it’s spread out it has better optics, and that’s all the fuckers in Sacramento care about.

Comment from dissent555
Time: April 3, 2013, 11:50 pm

but, but, but, . . .

When the zombies come, poor ol’ Li is done for.

Comment from Pablo
Time: April 4, 2013, 12:43 pm

So, new Dead Pool tomorrow?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 4, 2013, 12:57 pm

Yep. I’ll announce it later.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: April 4, 2013, 5:09 pm

I saw thus report a few years ago. There was a couple in Memphis. He was a criminolgist who consulted with the Memphis PD on crime patterns She was an urbanologist studying housing in the wake of Memphis tearing down its projects and Section 8-ing the residents elsewhere.

The crime guy had an idea. He overlaid a map of all the new hot spots with his wife’s map of where the Section 8 people had gone. They matched.

RTWT, as they say.

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: April 4, 2013, 6:20 pm

You can’t quite see it from the photos, but this man is wearing waders. Because that’s the only way he can move with all the pussy he must be surrounded by.

Comment from Redd
Time: April 4, 2013, 7:45 pm

Roger Ebert has left the building…

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: April 4, 2013, 10:19 pm

Well, he had announced he was going to “cut back on work” – I’d say that qualifies…

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Time: April 11, 2013, 2:08 pm

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